So, FDA has finally come out with its much talked-up voluntary guidance (read, recommendations) for the pharmaceutical and livestock industries on appropriate antibiotic use and avoiding antibiotic resistance. It has been pending in draft form for over a year and a half and has been long-criticized as a hollow gesture to tackle antibiotic resistance. Despite… Read More
Nobody told Reina Lemus de Zelaya that her job as a farmworker was hazardous not only to her health, but to her unborn child. So when Lemus de Zelaya was pregnant with one of her daughters, she continued working in the agricultural fields in Florida. Not only was she continually exposed to pesticides while pregnant,… Read More
In 1993, six farmworkers gathered in a local Catholic church in Immokalee, Florida, two hours northwest of Miami. Seated in a circle of folding chairs, they began to recount the human rights abuses they had suffered and witnessed while working in the tomato fields of Florida. One of the farmworkers produced a nondescript booklet and began to read… Read More
Remember that Stanford study last year that claimed organic foods were no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts? It made national headlines seeming to vindicate critics of organic farming practices and confirming to skeptics that organics are nothing more than a marketing scheme. I criticized that study when it appeared as did many others but it damaged the reputation of organic farming in the minds of many Americans.
At least two-thirds of the U.S. adult population is either overweight or obese and that number is expected to increase to 75 percent by 2015. Childhood obesity is also widespread, afflicting 17 percent of U.S. children under the age of 18 (Wang and Beydoun, 2007).
Imagine you’re in the supermarket. It’s an emporium, packed to the brim with shelves of colorful packaging. As you peruse the aisles, you’re confronted by brand on top of brand on top of a new brand that you’ve never heard of before. Cue sensory overload. There are hundreds of different bags of chips. There’s this condiment and that condiment, this yogurt and those “all natural” yogurts. A plethora of choice; or is choice just an illusion? Take the Food & Water Watch Foodopoly Quiz on the newly launched Foodopoly website and you’ll be shocked to find out who really controls what you put in your cart, and why it all matters.
Doron Comerchero and Abby Bell have been talking about Food Justice since they founded Life Lab’s award-winning youth empowerment program “Food, What?!” seven years ago. On the surface it means giving low-income high school youth, who might otherwise not have access to local organic produce, the opportunity to grow and prepare healthy and sustainable food. But Food Justice is about much more than cooking or sustainable agriculture. And food is simply the vehicle whereby youth gain responsibility, leadership skills, and job training, finding their voice and discovering who they want to be within the safety of a supportive community.
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 317 people in 20 states had confirmed cases of Salmonella caused by chicken traced to a California processor. This should be (yet another) wake-up call that it’s time to make serious changes to the way U.S. chickens are housed, raised, and processed in the factory farming system. But there is an even deeper issue at the heart of this problem: The fact that chickens are deliberately bred for excessive growth.
Restaurant workers haul ass to provide us seasonal, delicious, safely-prepared food. And yet their meager wages—the typical restaurant worker makes $15,000 a year—are barely enough to pay their rent and groceries, let alone health insurance premiums. (This is especially true in the case of bussers and dishwashers, some of the least glamorous and lowest paying jobs in the restaurant industry.)